Working on sound quality enhancement is not always a straightforward task. On one hand everyone has their own taste and expectations, on the other a repeatable procedure is required to make sure that every new product delivered to the market is “sounding good”. Typical sound quality enhancement process starts with a measurement – LMS SCADAS XS with LMS Binaural Headset offer high quality and easy-to-use acquisition of binaural recordings, important first step of a good evaluation.
The Sound Quality process can then be divided into two “paths”. On one hand side is the objective processing – required for repetitive and comparative measures. Analyzing the spectrum content, psychoacoustic metrics, replaying the sound and using filters to localize the most annoying or unpleasant components are indispensable tools when looking into objective features of a sound.
In the example above, 3 different variants of a car door closing sounds are compared. By simultaneously listening and observing the metrics for loudness (how loud a sound is perceived by listeners), sharpness (how much high-frequency energy content is there in the sound) and a traditional spectral map, conclusions can be drawn as to which of the variants objectively “sounds the best” – but will the customer agree?
The third step in the process is understanding how people react to the sounds – and thus gather the subjective ratings. Jury Testing allows to conduct listening tests that collect essential feedback from your target customers or NVH experts. By asking a defined audience to listen to pre-recorded sounds you can verify if the loudest door closure sound is also perceived as annoying, or on the contrary, gives a perception of robustness of the car.
The final step is the correlation of the objective and subjective measures to choose the best design variant, but also create new combine metrics or adjust the design targets. Applying a sound quality process will help to design a strong, successful product with its own brand sound.
Watch this video from Automotive Testing Expo 2017, where I explain this process:
Interested in other solutions from the Simcenter Testing portfolio? Next week, we’ll tell you more about the LMS SCADAS XS data acquisition system. Stay tuned and watch out for our next video from Automotive Testing Expo Europe!